Leadville Color and a Busy Two Days

September 13 (continued)

After setting up camp just west of Leadville, CO, Kelly and I take her truck down to Twin Lakes where the aspen are in full color. Locals say autumn is about two weeks early this year due to the drier weather. Which makes sense to me, the same thing happened in Wisconsin when it was dry.

Kelly has a Ford Raptor, a vehicle just made for off-roading. We take some of the little dirt trails near the lakes and discover some pretty boondocking spots. But where we are is pretty nice too.

When we get to the end of what her truck can handle, we park it on a steep slant and continue on foot. We pass through a mature stand of aspen and get pictures of each other on the other side.

In the evening the sun setting against the mountains east of camp makes for a good backdrop for a photo of Cas. I’m glad I came to Leadville.

September 15, Saturday

Hiking day! After a morning spent working, Kelly and I meet after lunch to go hike to Timberline Lake. It’s not far from camp, just a quick drive along the south shore of Turquoise Lake to the west end.

The trail goes uphill through forests of pine and spruce with meadows between. It’s not steep, but it’s consistent. Having just come from Oregon, it doesn’t take long before I’m panting, we’re somewhere between 10 and 11,000 feet and I’m not use to the elevation.

The lake is beautiful, with a backdrop of mountains and a cloudless blue sky above. A breeze ripples the water, which is quite clear with a rocky bottom visible.

We decide to walk all the way around the lake, and only sort of get lost once – which is good for us! The sun is getting low in the sky as we prepare to head back.


On the way back down a gray bird swoops down out of the trees to land in front of us. It’s soon joined by two more. They look at us expectantly, I’m guessing they’ve been fed before. The fact that I can get a photo this clear of them with my phone tells you how close they were. Does anyone know what species they are?

By the time we get back to the trailhead we’ve clocked about 6.5 miles, a worthy hike!

September 21, Friday

Today’s the day!

At 6 am I wake up to temperatures well below freezing – my plumbing is froze. I use Wunderground as my weather app and usually it’s quite accurate, but it utterly fails here in Leadville, often showing the temperature as being 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. At least it’s still getting up into the 60’s during the day which is quite pleasant. I turn on my Little Buddy heater and an hour later everything is thawed out which is good because it’s time for me to go.

I hop into Bertha which is showing 22 degrees, no wonder the plumbing froze! The sun hasn’t yet crested over the mountains as I make my way north to I70 and then east to Denver. There’s little traffic this time of day and the drive is uneventful.

Upon arriving in Denver I make a couple stops, to REI for some camping gear and to Wells Fargo for a Cashier’s check. I arrive at Hiker Trailer right on time for my appointment at 10:30 am.

My teardrop is waiting out front for me. The owner, Rob, who I did the tour with last year shows me how the basics work on the trailer. It goes pretty fast, because I’m already so familiar with how trailers work from living in the Casita the past six years. After that, Lauren whom I’ve spoken with a lot through e-mail the past 10 months, takes me in to the office to sign off on the last paperwork and hands me the Certificate of Origin and Bill of Sale for the teardrop. I hand her the Cashier’s check and it’s official: the teardrop is mine! I have someone get a picture of Rob and I in front of my trailer, and by noon I’m on the road.

Hello teardrop! (name pending)

I’d done a lot of pondering ahead of time on how today was going to go. I could have brought the Casita down and found a place to park it in Denver, then move everything from Cas over to the teardrop. But that method only would have worked well if I had a buyer for Cas lined up ahead of time, which didn’t pan out. Selling Cas in Denver would probably be easier than from Leadville, but there’s nowhere I can park both Cas and the teardrop without having to pay a bunch of money and I just don’t want to do that.

So I opt to take the teardrop back to Leadville where Cas is still parked. A couple is coming out to look at Cas tomorrow at noon, and they’re cool with driving to Leadville to see him. I spend the evening working on moving stuff from the Casita into the teardrop, but still spend one more night in Cas.

September 22

This is the second night in a row I haven’t slept well, and it’s cold again in the morning although not as cold as yesterday. I rope Kelly and Bob who arrived yesterday into helping me clean and prepare Cas for the noon showing. We scrub everything and generally make Cas look good – I have awesome friends!

The couple arrive. The showing seems to go well. They drive back into town to eat lunch and discuss things while I eat too and pull more stuff out of Cas.

Not much later they text me: they’re ready to buy… and want to take Cas with them today. Whee!

The rest of the afternoon is a flurry of hauling stuff out willy-nilly. A bunch of my belongings end up in the back of Bob’s pickup. But by the time the couple come back around 4 pm, Cas is ready to go. I pull all the important stuff that belongs with Cas together: The snap caps, rivets, rivet gun, one of the electric heaters, the binder with all the paperwork, and the fancy sway control hitch and all associated parts, plus a few more things that I won’t need with the teardrop that they could use.

Hitch up goes fine, their truck is about the same height as Bertha. I take a short video as they drive away… and then realize that with all the stuff I gave them, I forgot about the bathroom door and one of the cupboard doors that are off that I’ve been carrying in my truck! Luckily they aren’t too far and I catch up quickly. Really I’m still impressed with how quickly I managed to pull this all together.

My next order of business is getting a sleeping place together in the teardrop, and organizing stuff at least to the point that it’s all safe for the night.

How do I feel about saying bye to Cas and spending my first night in the teardrop? To be honest I’ve been so busy just doing what needs to be done that I have little energy leftover to contemplate it. Mostly I just feel exhausted, but I do also feel grateful that the sale of Cas went quickly rather than being dragged out. Now I don’t need to worry about taking care of two trailers and can get on with making the teardrop my home!

Goodbye Cas! One of the last photos I got of him, sunrise on the 20th.

Thanks Patrons and PayPal donators!

Other Articles You Might Enjoy

Hiking Brown Mountain

December 30, 2017 |

After bringing Bertha back from the shop on the 13th, I spend most of my next week in Tucson, AZ focused on work. On the 17th I drive up San Joaquin Road to visit a friend, Malia of Malia’s Miles – a solo full-timer of 16 years(!). The last time we’d gotten together was the…

Read More

Snapshots of a Wisconsin Summer

September 11, 2017 |

I’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on the first round of videos going live on the 14th, so enjoy some photos from my summer in Wisconsin. Have a good week, and see you all on Thursday for the big reveal!

Read More

Halloween and November

December 6, 2019 |

October 25, Friday After a fun couple weeks in the Salt Lake City area with Marshall and Kelly (there was even a trip to a trampoline park!), we part ways and I continue on my own south and east for another good Halloween weekend in Fruita, CO with a different group of camping friends. Shenanigans…

Read More


At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Diane Ely on October 10, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Becky: This is off-topic (at least it has nothing to do with this latest post). I remember several months ago you stated you were here in the LA area for an “event”, but you couldn’t talk about it at that time. You said you’d be able to reveal it later in the year. Is that time coming soon?

    • Becky on October 10, 2018 at 4:36 pm

      I hope so Diane! Once I get the all clear I’ll post about it here. 🙂

  2. Virginia on October 9, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Congratulations on your new home! Wishing you safe travels and many happy adventures. I’m looking forward to reading about them!

    • Becky on October 10, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks Virginia!

  3. Norm H. on October 8, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Congratulations on both the new purchase and the quick sale of Cas. So glad all went smoothly.
    As I write, we’re sitting in our new Casita SD in Texas. Picked her up on Oct. 2. Doing the shake down/familiarization things. Can’t imagine what it was like for you to have to move in 4 hours!!!
    Safe journeys to you and “Hiker.” Looking forward to future reports on life in a “tear box.”

    • Becky on October 8, 2018 at 10:46 am

      And congrats to you Norm! You must be very excited. Yes, it’s been an interesting journey so far.

  4. Terry on October 7, 2018 at 11:22 am

    I’ve been feeding raisins to a mated pair of Gray Jays for eight years now. They are very tame and will readily eat out of your hand. Every spring they bring their young, 2-3, but they later move on and the parents stay on.
    Looking forward to hearing more about life in your new trailer.

    • Becky on October 8, 2018 at 10:23 am

      What a cute story Terry, thanks for sharing!

  5. Georgia Bolton on October 6, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Thank you so much for shear!

  6. Dawn in Michigan on October 5, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Glad the sale went so well. Enjoy your new home!

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks Dawn!

  7. AZ_Kit on October 5, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Well now I know what that bird is! I saw several of them swooping into my campsite at Dillon Reservoir last month. Congratulations on your new home!

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks Kit! Yes I’ve seen these birds in other places before too. Good to finally have a name!

  8. raz mataz on October 5, 2018 at 5:48 am

    wu is accurate. you are not at the station there gps coordinates. that temp is for that location. drive over and see. raz

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      I remember it being more accurate last time I camped here, so strange!

  9. GK on October 5, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Congratulations on your new trailer. May it support you well for many miles.

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks GK!

  10. Marilyn in Dania Beach but presently in Akron on October 4, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Well done, Becky. I have been following your posts since you first started them. What a wonderful life you have chosen. On to the next chapter which will be interesting.

    Enjoy every minute.

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Thanks Marilyn, and congrats for having made it this far, haha. I’m so looking forward to sharing these new adventures with you!

  11. Ann on October 4, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    I see Brian reported the Grey Jay already, so I’ll just add, in case you didn’t know, that there’s a Cornell bird ID app you can download for free, and it’s amazingly easy and (for me at least) accurate.

    Enjoy the new digs 😊

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:49 pm

      Good advice Ann, thanks!

  12. Diane Ely on October 4, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Becky: Did the ladder leave with Cas as well? That’s another thing you won’t need for the teardrop!

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:49 pm

      No they didn’t need it, haha! I’m still carrying that darn ladder around with me! Wanted to take it to the thrift store in town but they weren’t accepting donations. I’ll have to find somewhere else.

  13. Rene Kipp on October 4, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Stunning photos!! Congratulations on your new home.

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks Rene!

  14. Doc Tooley on October 4, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Nice to see some old shots of Cas and new shots of your tear drop! Beautiful scenery as always! Good luck with your new rig in the future!

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks Doc! Yep I picked the right time of year to visit Leadville, the colors were so beautiful.

  15. Rob on October 4, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    It’s good when things go well & a fine way to start the autumn season!

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      It sure is Rob!

  16. Brian on October 4, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Your new Hiker Trailer is so cool, I’m very happy for you.

    The bird you asked about is a Gray Jay, also called a camp robber. They’re very good at getting into any food left outside. Another bird that looks very similar to the Gray Jay is the Clarks Nutcracker. It has a longer, more pointed beak than the Gray Jay.

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Ahh, thanks for identifying them Brian! No wonder they were so interested in us, haha. We didn’t feed them. 😛

  17. Tim on October 4, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Fantastic that you got Cas sold so quickly. Now you can focus on how life will be in a different rig. I Went from a older Class A to a larger class A and have not yet been able to get it exactly set up like I want it. I Think your Rig will be much easier with out water and complicated wiring systems. I will be looking forward to posts that tell us how you
    made your new rig home .

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      Yes Tim I’m so glad the sale went quickly! I’m slowly working on organizing. It’ll take a while to get a good system down, just like it did for Cas, but progress is being made!

  18. Steve Kaeseman on October 4, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Congrats again on the new Teardrop and the selling of Cas. Glad a ll things went well for you. I look forward to reading about all the new adventures with your new home. May God Bless you and keep you safe as you begin this new chapter of your life. Love all the pictures as always.
    Respectfully, S. Kaeseman

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Steve! I look forward to sharing new adventures with you.